COON RAPIDS, Minn.-- A big group gathered Wednesday night to witness the designation of Coon Rapids as a Heart Safe Community.
"Part of that also will be some road signs that can be placed throughout the community so that people know that when they're entering this community here, they are entering a heart safe community," said Allina Health's Katie Tewalt as she presented certificates and heart safe street signs during the city council meeting.
Coon Rapids is the 25th city in the state to get the designation from the Minnesota Department of Health, and is now the third largest city on Minnesota's heart safe list.
The designation involves public training, a public awareness campaign and getting as many Automated External Defibrillators as possible out in the community for public use.
A point system is in place to help cities qualify. 750 points, or heartbeats, is the minimum needed to get designated. Coon Rapids applied with 1,350.
Coon Rapids Police Officer Bryan Platz has been spearheading this effort and said, "It means the world to me. Since February we've really worked hard at getting out there and getting the message out there and training. Just to get the designation is something else. We're not by any stretch of the imagination done. We've still got a long way to go, but this is a big part of that journey."
Platz said his long term goal is to train half of the city's 60,000 residents and get AEDs in half of the city's businesses.
"More people collapse with heart-related conditions in businesses than we have fires, yet you see fire extinguishers everywhere," said Platz about getting roughly 300 AEDs in businesses around the city.
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